A North Carolina man killed himself Wednesday morning inside the home of his estranged wife after first ambushing and fatally shooting a firefighter moments after the victim walked out the front door.
Authorities in Granite Quarry believe that Andrew Lee Myers, 26, was sitting in his pickup truck, parked outside his wife’s home, waiting for 30-year-old fireman Tyler William Hamilton, who emerged from the home at 11:45 a.m.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Granite Quarry Police Chief Mark Cook said investigators learned that Myers stepped out of his vehicle and approached Hamilton shortly after he’d left the home, firing once with a shotgun.
Hamilton died instantly, as the gunfire struck him in the head, according to police.
Next, Cook said Myers walked into his estranged wife’s home, confronting her briefly before turning the gun on himself and ending his own life.
“We had received several phone calls about gunshots at a residence,” Cook told reporters. “Myself and another officer were on scene in about a minute. On our arrival, we found two male victims — both had apparent gunshot [wounds] … both parties were deceased.”
A friend of Hamilton’s told the Salisbury Post she does not believe the fireman was involved romantically with Myers’ estranged wife, adding the two were merely friends.
Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE’s free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.
Meanwhile, Hamilton’s parents are concerned their son will be remembered more for his death than his life.
“He was a really good boy,” his mother, Jill Hamilton, told WBTV. “He loved God, he loved his momma … he was really close to his brother. We want to remember Tyler for what he loved most, and that was firefighting.”
The station reports that Hamilton was last year named Firefighter of the Year for the Millers-Ferry Department.
As she spoke about her son, the grieving mother offered heartbreaking words of advice to other moms.
“Just, you know, hug your child … I got my [last] hug, he told me he loved me more than anything else in this world, and he said, ‘I’ll be alright, mom — I’ll be alright,'” she said.